69 Field Regiment Royal Artillery

 

1-2 January 1945: Regt support two raids by 146 Bde. No pw captured.

 

3 January 1945: C-in-C Certs presented to Capt Prestwich and L/Sgt Armstrong. Corps HF programme fired.

 

4 January 1945: Experiment carried out with 75mm gun on Sherman Tank. Shooting controlled by Air OP. Successful.

 

5-6 January 1945: No activity except normal HF programme.

 

7 January 1945: 5 guns calibrated by camera.

 

8-13 January 1945: Very little activity aprat from normal HF. Regt support several raids to try and get PW but all were unsuccessful.

 

14 January 1945: DF was fired on Bosches attacking one outpost. Some Bosches killed.

 

15 January 1945: Fire plan in support strong figthing patrol of Hallams was arranged. Again unsuccessful.

 

16-17 January 1945: Little activity. Air OP checked the guns using new figures from last calibration.

 

18 January 1945: Regt support raid by 1/4 K.O.Y.L.I. No PW captured. Bosches put in strong attack on our left flank at Zetten.

 

19 January 1945: Plans for relief of Regt had to be postponed owing to attack yesterday.

 

20 January 1945: HF fired during day. 56 Bde counter-attacked at Zetten.

 

21 January 1945: Propaganda shells fired giving Bosches the news of the fighting in the Ardennes.

 

22 January 1945: HF fired again during the day. In the evening two deserters gave themselves up and said the shelling had been too much for them.

 

23-24 January 1945: HF and Red Smoke targets fired on 146 Bde front.

 

25 January 1945: 74 Fd Regt took over our posns due to the relief of 146 Bde by 56 Bde, Regt moved back to posn at Weurt where 74 Fd Regt had been.

 

26-31 January 1945: General cleaning up and maintenance carried out. Weather during month. Mainly fine and cold 1-7. Snow 8-10. Unsettled and mainly cold 11-26. Heavy snowfall 27.

 

1 February 1945: 5 guns calibrated with 21 Army Gp Standard guns.

 

2 February 1945: D Tp relieved E Tp in support 49 Recce Regt. 6 guns calibrated, comparatively with Regtl Standard gun.

 

3-4 February 1945: G.1098 check carried out by QM.

 

5 February 1945: Preliminary Recce carried out for area on the "Island" in readiness for take over of Left Sector by 146 Inf Bde.

 

6 February 1945: 146 Inf Bde Op Instr No.23 received. Final recce of area on "Island".

 

7 February 1945: CO attended conference by Div Comd at Div HQ. Subject 'Future Ops'. RA 49 Div Op Instr No.54 received. 18.00 - All Offrs conference on "Op VERITABLE". COs notes attached.

 

8 February 1945: 448 Bty engaged targets for Op VERITABLE. 146 Bde Op Instr No.24 received.

 

9 February 1945: Necessary moves completed for change-over of 146 and 147 Bde.

 

10 February 1945: A few observed shoots on enemy movement. Floods rising.

 

11 February 1945: Floods still rising.

 

12 February 1945: CO visited all Btys to inspect conditions generally.

 

13 February 1945: Regtl HF programme fired during night.

 

14 February 1945: Recce of fwd posn at Valburg carried out with a view to moving a battery there in order to give close support.

 

15 February 1945: One DF taks fired on Hallams front. A few Boche had infiltrated into one of their posns. Situation soon restored.

 

16 February 1945: CO attended conference at Div HQ at 1000 hrs and another one at 146 Bde at 1430 hrs. Subject in both cases "Future Ops". Further recce of fwd area at Valburg carried out.

 

17 February 1945: 60 men attended at HQ 4 Lincolns to see C-in-C 21 Army Gp. 12.30 - CO attended lecture given by C-in-C 21 Army Gp at Div HQ. Regtl HF programme arranged for night.

 

18 February 1945: Survey of fwd posn carried out. CO visited Btys to pass on as much of Field Marshall Montgomery's speech as was allowed.

 

19 February 1945: HF fired on Hallams front during night.

 

 

20 February 1945: Flying Bomb landed approx 100 yards South of A Tp (273 Bty) position. Few casualties caused by flying glass but nothing serious. C Tp (189 Bty) moved to area Valburg. Regtl HF programme fired during night.

 

21 February 1945: Remainder of 189 Bty moved to Valburg.

 

22 February 1945: DF taks fired in front of Hallams fwe platoon. Platoon reported at 0340 hrs that fire was accurate. All quiet at 0400 hrs, but complete platoon missing when recce patrol visited position at 0620 hrs. Retaliating fire put down in Randwijk. A Tp (273 Bty) moved back to Weert - the original 189 Bty posn.

 

23 February 1945: Heavy gun had direct hit on 448 Bty OP in Zetten Church, but no casualties.

 

24 February 1945: Regtl HF programme fired during night.

 

25 February 1945: No activity apart from a few observed shoots on enemy movement.

 

26 February 1945: Extensive HF programme fired to cover change of posns by 1/4 KOYLI.

 

27 February 1945: Regtl HF programme fired throughout the night. Slight shelling of Lincolns area at Valburg. Several possible gun areas north of the Rhine bombarded by 189 Bty in retaliation.

 

28 February 1945: One hostile gun bombarded.

1 March 1945: Observed shooting carried out by OP with Lincolns at Valburg. Regtl HF Programme fired during evening. Div Comd visited 3 Troop positions on the Island.

2 March 1945: OP with KOYLI engaged several enemy working parties in front of bn locns. Warning order received of relief by 53 (W) Div, but during afternoon postponed 48 hrs.

3 March 1945: 02.30 hrs FP in support of deception plan by Hallams. Ten Bombards of hostile guns carried out. Regtl HF programme fired during evening.

4 March 1945: Continued Regtl HF programme until 0730 hrs. Little observed shooting owing to weather. Small Fire plan fired at 2110 and 2225 hrs to cover KOYLI occupation of post.

 

5 March 1945: Some observed shooting by OPs with Hallams, Lincolns and Koyli. Regtl HF programme firing during evening and earl morning 6th.

 

6 March 1945: Considerable observed shooting by all OPs.

 

7 March 1945: Observed shooting continued on whole front. 448 and 273 Btys advanced to area Valburg to support op Regents Park (by 4 Lincolns) on 8 Mar 2215 hrs. Regt fired several tgts in support B coy Leicesters (Ham) who were attacked by enemy raiding patrol.

 

8 March 1945: Regt support Coy Raid by 4 Lincolns (Op Regents Park) H hr 1830 hrs. Bty HF fired on call during evening.

 

9 March 1945: 0642-0740 hrs. Engaged enemy infiltrating into Indoornik. During DF premature occured in F Tp causing one serious and 3 slight casualties. 273 moved south of river. Several Bombards fired in the afternoon. Between 2000 and 20502 hrs, fire plan shot in support Koyli patrols. 2055-2130 hrs fire plan in support Hallams raiding patrol in Indoornik.

 

10 March 1945: Observed shooting during day. 2155 hrs support Hallams OP Grab, a pl assault on house in Indoornik. Two bombards fired on hostile mortars. Raid by 11 RSF.

 

11 March 1945: 146 Bde relieved by 56 Bde, RHQ, 189 and 448 btys moved to posns West of Nijmegen. A Tp occupied posn in Druten to support 49 (WR) Recce Regt. Between 1800 and 2100 hrs B Tp fired flare shells as part of practice demonstration by 79 Armd Div on the river Waal.

 

12 March 1945: Engaged one counter mortar bombard. B Tp fired flare shells for 79 Armd Div demonstration.

 

13 March 1945: Nothing to report.

 

14 March 1945: Two counter mortar bombards fired. CO inspected 448 Bty. CO awarded DSO.

 

15 March 1945: One U Tgt fired on Rijkerswoerd to encourage a few more Polish deserters to come across into our lines. CRA - Brigadier EN Cross, RA visited unit.

 

16 March 1945: Preliminary plans made for an operation on our left flank.

 

17 March 1945: Recce for dun area carried out at Puiflijk.

 

18 March 1945: Further recce of gun area carried out for OP Hereford.

 

19 March 1945: Survey of new area carried out. CO attended CRA's conference.

 

20 March 1945: Final conference for OP Hereford. CO attended O Group 1400 hrs.

 

21 March 1945: Regt moved to Wamel area to support Hereford. OP eventually postponed at approx midnight due to very bright moon. Regt moved back to original positions.

 

22 March 1945: Arty support arranged for extension of Div right bdy to international frontier. Tp posn recced in sq.

 

23 March 1945: F Tp 448 Bty moved in support 18 Cdn Armd Car Regt. OP Hereford cancelled.

 

24 March 1945: CO visited F Tp and OP at Millingen. CO attended conference at 46 Bde HQ at 1400 hrs to discuss proposed fire plan for OP Destroyer.

 

25 March 1945: 15.30 hrs CO attended Div Comds conference on OP Destroyer.

 

26 March 1945: Regt relieved 143 Fd Regt on the 'Island" Right Sector to conform with relief of 147 Bde by 146 Bde.

 

27 March 1945: Planning continued for OP Destroyer. HF fired on Bde front.

 

28 March 1945: CO attended conference on fire plan for OP Destroyer.

 

29 March 1945: RHQ moved to fwd posn upon relief of 146 Bde by 56 Bde. 74 Fd Regt took over our RHQ.

 

30 March 1945: Co-ordinating conference OP Destroyer. D Tp detached under comd 11 Cdn Fd Regt in area Cleve.

 

31 March 1945: Nothing to report.

 

1 April 1945: CO's briefing conference for OP Destroyer.

 

2 April 1945: OP Destroyer commenced 0600 hrs. Good going all day.

 

3 April 1945: OP Destroyer continued. Cleared Island up to bank of Nederrijn. Fwe gun area at Zand recced.

 

4 April 1945: Preliminary planning for OP Quick Anger.

 

5 April 1945: Regt moved to area West of Elst in readiness for OP Quick Anger.

 

6 April 1945: Guns not in action. Preparation of positions proceeded under cover of smoke screen. CO submitted fire plan to HQ RA.

 

7 April 1945: Preparation of positions continued. CO attended conference at 146 Inf Bde.

 

8 April 1945: OP Quick Anger cancelled. Recce of further gun area carried out at Huissen.

 

9 April 1945: Another recce of yet another gun area carried out at Duiven to conform with another change of plan. CO attended another conference at 146 Inf Bde at 2115 hrs which involved yet another change in the fire plan.

 

10 April 1945: Owing to another change of plan by 56 Inf Bde CO had to alter the fire plan once more. Preparation of position at Duiven continued.

 

11 April 1945: Regt moved to area Duiven in readiness for OP Anger. Regt ready 2315 hrs.

 

12 April 1945: OP Anger H Hr 2240 hrs. Regt support by firing fire plan.

 

13 April 1945: OP Anger continued. Regt in close support 146 Inf Bde. Objectives reached. Recce of another gun area carried out in Arnhem.

 

14 April 1945: Projected move cancelled 1600 hrs. 5 Cdn Armd Div passed through 49 (WR) Inf Div.

 

15 April 1945: Recce of another gun area at Baar which was NOT occupied. Regt evcentually moved to area previously recced in Arnhem.

 

16 April 1945: Regt support attack on Velp by 56 Inf Bde with 146 Inf Bde passing through to link up with 1 Cdn Div on Apeldoorn Canal. 448 Bty moved on left axis to support advance by 146 Inf Bde.

 

17 April 1945: Regt grouped under 74 Fd Regt in support 56 Inf Bde. Moved to area Heelsum during late afternoon.

 

18 April 1945: Regt grouped under 143 Fd Regt in support 147 Inf Bde. Moved to area ? in late afternoon.

 

19 April 1945: Lt-Col R.A.V. Crawford, DSO, RA took over duties of CRA during absence of CRA. HF Programme fired during morning.

 

20 April 1945: HF programme fired on 147 Inf Bde front. 146 Inf Bde prepared for counter attack.

 

21 April 1945: One U Tgt engaged three times during the day in support 56 Bde patrol.

 

22 April 1945: HF programme fired on 147 Inf Bde front.

 

23 April 1945: New area South and SW of Lunteren recced and prepared. Regt moved to occupy it during evening.

 

24 April 1945: Fire plan arranged for 147 Inf Bde attack on Renswoude. All targets were on call but none were required eventually.

 

25 April 1945: Counter attack against 147 Inf Bde. DF's fired and counter attack was broken up. Enemy retired in disorder. Own casualties light.

 

26 April 1945: A few bombards fired during the day.

 

27 April 1945: CO attended Div Comds conference ref situation on this front. No firing except DF. CO held conference of all offrs to explain situation.

 

28 April 1945: CRA attended as Div Comd to present C-in-C Certificates to six members of the Regt.

 

29 April 1945: Regt attended Ceremonial Church Parade in Lunteren with 4 Lincolns. Div Comd took the salute at the march past.

 

30 April 1945: Recce of new gun area North of Bennekom in preparation for proposed relief of 56 Inf Bde by 146 Inf Bde.

Gunner Harry Ingleton E.Troop
(photo H.Ingleton)
Gunner Frank Lucia
(photo H.Ingleton)